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People with Disability Call for Self-determination and Individualized Funding


  • Published: 2010-08-30 : Author: People with Disability Australia Incorporated
  • Synopsis: Policy and practice must recognize that it is society which creates significant barriers for people with disability.

As a matter of high priority, People with Disability Australia (PWD) calls on the next Australian Government to:

Implement individualized funding and planning systems which are flexible and responsive to the culture, values and preferences of each person

Commit to the processes currently being undertaken through the Productivity Commission's Public Inquiry into Disability Care and Support, and reasonably assess the options when they are presented by the Productivity Commission

Ensure any national disability scheme involves a systematic and sustainable approach to removing the barriers people with disability face

Ensure that any national disability strategy complies with Article 4 of the CRPD -guaranteeing people with disability are involved across government in decision making in all areas of our lives.

Problem:

Despite the goals of inclusion and participation for people with disability, policy that affects people with disability remains to a large extent limited to service provision, and influenced by service providers and the state based service delivery departments of government.

People with disability and their representative groups have frequently been excluded, at great expense, from influencing the policies that affect the way we live.

This has reinforced the view that people with disability are objects of care and charity, rather than people first, with human, legal, social and consumer rights, who can contribute substantially to the intellectual, cultural, economic and social diversity and wellbeing of our community.

Solution:

Nothing short of a paradigm shift is required to create the equality envisaged by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). In order to do this, the development and implementation of policy must take account of the interdependence of the individual; others with disability; the community; and government, rather than view disability as an illness that needs to be treated. Only when disability policy is broader than disability service provision will this be possible.

At its core, policy and practice must recognize that it is society which creates significant barriers for people with disability, and it is the barriers which need to be fixed - not people with disability.

People with Disability Australia Incorporated (PWD) is a national disability rights and advocacy organization. Our primary membership is made up of people with disability and organizations mainly constituted by people with disability. We have a cross-disability focus - we represent the interests of people with all kinds of disability. PWD is a non-profit, non-government organization. Our vision is of a socially just, accessible and inclusive community, in which the human rights, citizenship, contribution, potential and diversity of all people with disability are respected and celebrated. This vision underpins everything that we do.

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